Congratulations to Lorde, your newest Pop Solo Performance Grammy award winner. She won for "Royals," which was inspired by this National Geographic photo of George Brett.
Lorde sings songs. One particularly popular song is called "Royals," which you've probably heard. Recently, she mentioned the song was inspired by a picture of a baseball player she saw in an old National Geographic. The magazine confirmed it was this picture of a happier George Brett signing autographs.
Lorde herself recently spoke to us about how the song was inspired in part with her obsession with historic monarchs and, strangely enough, by an image of a baseball player wearing a Kansas City Royals jersey in National Geographic."
In that interview, Lorde explained how she "had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, 'Royals.'
"It was just that word. It's really cool."
Some internet sleuthing dug up an old picture of Brett taken by Ted Spiegel for National Geographic in 1976 and fans wondered if it could be the inspiration.
National Geographic later confirmed that the picture "appears to be the only photo in our archives of a Royals baseball player signing autographs" and asked Spiegel about it.
What I remember was sheer adulation. There was one girl who worked in the Kansas City Royals office who had what we would now call a large reaction to George Brett. Her eyes melted just gazing at him. He had star power. He was an all-American in image and in bat. All those hands holding the baseballs are adulating fans, and in Lorde's interview, she talked about how the royals were rockstars in their day. George Brett proved to be a sports star in his day. In 1976, he became the American League batting champion. By 1999, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Anyway, it's a pretty cool old photo of a young George Brett.